Posts Tagged ‘Dear Astronaut’

Preview: The Conformists and (((Microwaves))) at the Borg Ward Saturday

November 13, 2009

The Conformists at Union Rock Yards in Chicago last June

Words by Brian Whitney

Previously on this site, I reviewed a Freight/Possible
Fathers/Conformists show
at Cactus Club, wherein I confessed to not
having watched The Conformists after being blown away by Freight and
P-Fath. The result was pretty much everyone in attendance calmly, but
firmly letting me know that I was a complete idiot for not watching
them. This Saturday provides me with an opportunity to stop eating
shit, as the St. Louis-based Conformists once again ride into town.
Their sound has been described, in so many words, as a mid-90’s Touch
and Go-styled mix of heavy atmospherics and black comedy. Admittedly,
it sounds like something I’d probably be into, and everyone who called
me a fool last year was at least 65% correct.

Also coming from afar are Pittsburgh’s (((Microwaves))), a band described as
no wave/noise rock that will “peel your goddamn face off.” Normally I
don’t fall for that kind of hyperbole, nor am I usually an advocate of
formless noise, but I’ll make sure I watch them just in case (this is
rapidly becoming less a show preview and more an indictment of my
skills as a reviewer.) Rounding out the bill are locals Ifihadahifi
and Dear Astronaut, two bands you’ve probably know pretty well by this
point. The last time I saw Dear Astronaut, they had added a second
guitarist (Nathan Riddle, also of Busybodies) that really fleshed out
their sound. I’m under the impression that they have a new drummer,
yet I have no idea whether that similarly improves upon their sound.

All will be revealed this Saturday at the Borg Ward, 9th and National.
The show starts at 7 and is only 6 bucks.


TGIT: Our Weekend Picks!

November 12, 2009

photo by Scott Winklebleck

Thursday, November 12th

Quinn Scharber and the… + Surgeons in Heat @ Club Garibaldi’s (2501 S. Superior), 10 p.m.

Word on the street is, is that Quinn Scharber’s got some new tricks up his sleeve, music-wise. The Midwestern-tinged pop quartet is still a quartet and still plays Midwestern-tinged pop, but now includes new-to-the-fold drummer Jon Phillip and guitarist/backup vocalist Johnathon Mayer. Mayer proves his worth as a newcomer by doing double-duty, also performing in opening act Surgeons in Heat.


flier from MySpace

Friday/Saturday, November 13th & 14th

Stumblurfest @ Frank’s Power Plant & Club Garibaldi’s

Friday @ Frank’s Power Plant: Gut Reactions + Sleepovers, The People’s Temple, Sang Des Loups, Legendary Wings, The Get Drunk DJs

Saturday @ Club Garibaldi’s: Mistreaters, Hex Dispensers, Cococoma, Digital Leather, Drugs Dragons, The Get Drunk DJs

Whether you decide to venture out for the 2nd annual Stumblurfest on both nights, or just one, it’s guaranteed that you’ll be pleasantly suffering from the “two nights of brain, ear and liver damage” as its hosts promise. Local and national highlights include the intense hardcore of Gut Reactions, the return of the Mistreaters and Nebraska’s own Digital Leather, with a brand new, spazzed-out album in tow.


flier from MySpace

Saturday, November 14th

The Conformists + Microwaves, IfIHadAHiFi, Dear Astronaut @ The Borg Ward (823 W. National), 8 p.m.

The Borg Ward brings different levels of crashing static, noise and general sonic bludgeonry to a new level on Saturday as it joins forces with some pretty heavy hitters. Bring the ear plugs, and don’t forget to congratulate IfIHadAHiFi. Didja hear they’re opening up for the Jesus Lizard at Turner Hall Ballroom on the 24th? Oh, yeah. They are.

Review: Cock ESP at the Borg Ward, 10.6.09

October 7, 2009
Cock ESP performing at the Borg Ward on Tuesday night--no, really

Cock ESP performing at the Borg Ward on Tuesday night--no, really

Words by DJ Hostettler

Peter J Woods would like you to know one thing about the Borg Ward—you’re free to make as much of a mess as you’d like, but you’d better make damn sure you clean it up afterward. Cock ESP apparently never got that memo, so when the Minneapolis/Appleton noise act finished their violently ridiculous set on Tuesday night, a seething Woods was left to sweep broken glass and flour off the floor while the group cackled away backstage, videotaping improvised puppet shows with their penises while member (ahem) Matt Bacon nursed a bloody gash in his shin. Just another night in the life of a legendary (in their circles, anyway) noise act who count Thurston Moore and Melt-Banana as some of their biggest fans.


Happy Birthday, Borg Ward!

September 4, 2009


photo of Mondo Drag courtesy of MySpace

photo of Mondo Drag courtesy of MySpace

The Borg Ward, 823 W. National Avenue, may be only two years old, but with that two years under their belt, they’ve done a lot to give local and touring acts a welcoming home for their amps, guitars, keyboards and drum kits. To celebrate their natural philanthropic spirit, the Borg is hosting a free show at 6 p.m. on Sunday, September 6th with The Butts, Cartilage Party, Dear Astronaut, Mondo Drag and Slob Donovan: who doesn’t like free presents? Don’t say the Borg Ward never gave you anything.

Farewell, Partisan

May 29, 2009

photo of Partisan courtesy of MySpace

Milwaukee’s Partisan is one show away from dissolving: this Saturday, May 30th marks their last performance. Bassist/harmonium player/vocalist Katie Knaebe explains.

“Partisan is coming to an end for a couple of reasons: the catalyst was the drummer, Scott’s, decision to move to Philadelphia. While Scott is the newest addition to the band, we’ve changed our sound significantly since he joined. We’re loud and electric, now, whereas we had started off as two acoustic guitars and one electric with un-mic’d voices. Scott’s drumming really influenced the way we wrote songs, so it would really take something to continue on with no drummer or a different one.

“The other reason is fatigue. We know our sound is esoteric; we’re not going to win over everyone, and it can be a challenge to play out. [I am] pretty immersed in [my] real-life job as a nurse. For [me], having the creative outlet is awesome, but the more mundane realities of band-dom will not be missed. Frank and Charlie, both guitarists and singers, have been working on projects outside of Partisan throughout the band’s existence. Frank has been playing bass with Dear Astronaut and making noise with Sonic Typewriter. Charlie has gone out solo as Buster and the Spur. Both enjoy being in bands, but think that the entity that is Partisan has run its course.

“As for future plans, Charlie and Frank have tentative plans to start a new band together. Even [I have] considered learning to drum for this hypothetical band, but [have] some reservations. Scott will have an awesome time in a new city with new people. His ultimate plan is grad school, although music will certainly factor in.

“The show will be free, although donations for the Borg Ward (not the bands) will be accepted. Show starts at 8 p.m. We are opening, so people better come in a timely ashion. All our bands are local and are personal friends and favorites of Scott’s (and Partisan). This is his big going-away party.”

More on Partisan in this previous *interview* with the band. The Borg Ward is located at 823 W. National.

Partisan, “Whisper Campaign”

Partisan, “Black Hole”